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Bethesda, Maryland 









F. GLEASON, No. 1 1-2 Tremont Row, Boston. 


S. FRENCH, 293 Broadway, New-York. D. JUNE, 274 Main St M Buffalo. 


Entered acioiding to Act of CunsruHs, in th« year lal/i. by F- Gleiison, in Hi" Clrrk'o on ice ot ike 
District Court of Massachusetts. 







" Humbug has reigned since clays of yore, 

As shovveth forth all ancient lore; 

But principally in ases dark, 

And in the days of Noah's ark, 

Though in these times of which we write, 

It open flaunts in braad daylight." 









The desultory manner in which we have sketched our experience, 
with a hasty hand, we hope may find an excuse in the fact of our un- 
practieed pen, and the proscribed limits in which we write. We have 
followed no fixed purpose, but have written that which we have to say 
quite at random. The reader will find some curious facts related 
here; but all have been experienced by the author, and that he has 
not come to his conclusions without good authority for so doing, and 
until proving the matter, we beg you to believe. These remarks, per- 
haps might be more properly embraced in a preface, but who reads 
the preface of a book ? Very few certainly, and therefore we have 
taken the liberty thus to preface our 'confessions.' Looking through 
these ' specs' dear reader, ' now gather and surmise.' 

That there is much truth and much humbug in the science of Mag- 
netism, if it deserve the name of science, no reasonable man will 
doubt ; at the same time it is too true that it is made the agent of 
great abuse and impropriety. I am one of those who believe that 
there is a certain will within the cultivation of every powerful mind, 
which may be so exercised over the dormant powers of another, as 


to render the object or person, for the time being, subject to the au- 
thority or wish of the active agent. 

For instance, if you, kind reader, were willing to subject yourself 
to the power of Magnetism, you must first seat yourself, acquire an 
agreeable and quiet state of mind, be perfectly willing, or rather ex- 
ert no will against the process, and your mind or brain becomes 
dormant, while the active mind of the Mesmeriser is exerted to its 
utmost power and capacity, and thus take possession of your will, as 
it were, through the agency of the nervo vital fluid or invisible « lec- 
tricity, and becoming for the time and until that agency shall cease, 
the master of the body of the subject, its own mind being no longer 

I do not design to prove the truth or actual existence of this sin- 
gular agency, and therefore shall not go into an elaborate discussion 
of its principles, but propose simply to throw out such hints as shall 
enable the reader to understand my story. I do humbly believe that 
Magnetism may be made tije means of doing much good, in allevia- 
ting extreme pain, in cases of nervous affections, and when it is ne- 
cessary to perform any surgical operation, inasmuch as the patient is 
rendered for the time being, when in the perfect or rigid state, insen- 
sible to all outward feeling or pain. Thus many of the first physi- 
cians of Boston and other cities, can bear testimony to having fully 
tested the matter in some most trying and important cases of surgical 
operations, such as amputations and the like. 

There are thousands of intelligent minds in this city, which being 
struck at first by some really astounding exhibitions,, or proof of the 
singular powers of Animal Magnetism, render at once blind belief to 
all it pretends to, and being convinced at the outset. of a hidden or 
unseen agency, they are ready to concede every thing o 
its power that the Mesmeriser, in his ingenuity, may lay down or de- 
vise. Now I have studied somewhat this action of the will, the pe- 
culiar operation of this agency, and can find it only powerful as 1 have 
expressed, in alleviating pain, as any prompt anodyne might do, and 
in rendering the subject for the time being completely within the con- 
trol of the Mesmeriser. 

Much has been written and said, and many have borne witness to 
the principle of clairvoyance as existing in the magnetised person. 
This principle is that of sight and power independent of either the 
subjects natural abilities, or the capacity of the Mesmeriser, and a 
person in this state is believed to be able to see and describe correct- 


ly any place independent of space and time, without having either 
seen or heard of that place before, and of which the Mesineriser is 
equally ignorant. 1 have labored hard, and with those said to be the 
best of subjects to prove if this be so, but have never been able to 
find a person who in any stage of the magnetic state could perform 
such a miracle. On the contrary, I have ever found that the subjects, 
however acute under the influence, however susceptible, or perlect in 
this state, can only reflect the mind and power of the Mesmerise r, or 
the person with whom they are put in communication, by means of 
the M ^smeriser, creating a degree of sympathy between them in the 
usual manner. In such a case, the individual put in communication, 
takes iha place for the time being of the Mesineriser. 

I would say here that I believe the prescribing of medicine in cases 
of sickness, by a person in the mesmeric state a perfect humbug ! for 
this reason. Being placed in communicsition with the ailing person, 
the subject forthwith reflects the sick one's thoughts, influenced, per- 
haps, in some measure by the judgment of the Mesineriser. For in 
stance, if you are convinced in your own mind that you are afflicted 
wit an affection of the heart, and present yourself before a magnet- 
ised person, f>r examination in relation to your health, that pers m, as 
soon as the sympathy is perfect, reflects your own mind, and will sa^, 
yourself holding the saint opinion, that you ha've an affection of the 
heart. You are forthwith surprised at the singularity of the knowl- 
edge evinced by the subject, a perfect stranger perhaps to you, inas- 
much as he or she has told you just that which you have every reason 
to believe true before, and indeed the same that your f imily physician 
his t dd you often times. 

We have experimented arid thought much upon thi-j •subject of 
clairvoyance, and do not hesitate to pronounce it an ingenious imbri- 
cation, founded uprm the singular peculiarities of the agency in 
s ho tthat the whole matter as it relates to the Clairvoyant st;ile, is a 
monstrous mountain of humbug resting upon a mole-hill ot fact. As 
to the examination of diseases, we know that there i.-i much injury 
done in this way, though the Mesineriser is careful not to pVrmrt his 
subject to prescribe any very powerful medicine, thus protecting him- 
self from any reproach, should the patient die from improper 
treatment. In such an instance they declare the harmless character 
of the prescription; and I once heard a pretended Doctor, alter this 
pebool, declare,—' Why, my dear fricmd, my medicine could not have 
injured your wife, in proofof which I am willing to undergo the same 


course of treatment, if necessary, to convince you of the fact. In 
vain did the friend declare that the would-be-Doctor was a vile person 
and could bear experimenting upon, it was all to no purpose. The 
medicine was perfectly innocent, and as it did not cure, the deceased 
was incurable ! 

This prescribing for the sick through the agency of a mesmerised 
person, is carried to a much greater extent in this city than is gener- 
ally known. 1 could mention eight practitioners at this time, now 
engaged in this employment. I also know one or two married ladies 
perfectly conscientious in this matter, persons irreproachable id mor- 
als and standing in society, who being magnetised by their husbands, 
prescribe for the sick among their friends. This being done gratui- 
tously, it would seem hard not to award at least the mead of sincerity 
to such. The fact is they are themselves deceived, being told on 
their awaking from the trance, or unconscious state in which they 
x have been, that which they have said and done, and knowing very 
well that they have not the power to discover these things in the nat- 
ural state, they become convinced of the truth of clairvoyance, and 
actually practice the art from a sense of duty to their fellow beings. 

The point most to be dreaded in this agency of the nervo-vital flu- 
id is, that being within the reach of nearly every one, it may not un- 
frequently fall into improper hands. Some are far more powerful 
than others ; the ability in this agency being susceptible of an accu- 
rate analysis, as it is graded according to the powers of the mind, and 
the ability to concentrate the will, and the resolution to be obeyed. 
Thus he who possesses these qualities in an eminent degree become? 
of course a powerful magnetiser. Let a person of strong mind, of 
good intellectual faculties, exert this power over another, and the per- 
son so affected will thrive in the very faculties which predominate in 
the Magnetiser, while on the contrary, if a person, say for instance, 
who possesses a poor memory, shalj frequently mesmerise any one in- 
dividual, that subject will inevitably experience the same inconven- 
ience. How long the effect may remain I will not pretend to say, 
but that this singular effect will be produced, I know from actual and 
careful observation. 



As the reader will undoubtedly infer, I have been a practical Mag- 
netiser, and for a long time was as much carried away by its supposed 
capabilities, as ever was the most ardent devotee; but like all who are 
determined to prove their belief, let it relate to whatever subject it 
may, I was not long in ' finding my level.' As I propose to be honest 
in this expose, I will frankly acknowledge, that when I found out the 
deception that had been practiced upon me, and in which I had been 
an innocent agent of deception to others, I did not do as I should have 

done. In the first place I was ashamed to acknowledge my error, 

being actuated by a false pride, which led me rather to cleave to false- 
hood than to acknowledge my error. And then again it gave me 
sweet pleasure, the practice of this singular agency, inasmuch as by 
it I possessed a mysterious power over my subject or patient, who of- 
tentimes were of the gentler sex. 

Reader, let me tell you that to be placed opposite a young and love- 
ly female, who has subjected herself to the process for the purpose of 
effecting a cure of some nervous affection or otherwise, to look into 
her gentle eyes, soft and beaming with confidence and trust, is singu- 
lar entrancing. You assume her hands, which are clasped in your own, 
you look intently upon the pupils of her eyes, which as the power be- 
comes more and more visible in her person, evince the tenderest re- 
gard, until they close in dreamy and as it were spiritual affection. — 
Then is her mind all your own, and she will evince the most tender 
solicitude and care for your good. Your will then becomes not only 
as law to her, but it is the greatest happiness to her to execute your 
smallest wish; she is perfectly happy, (unless your natural tempera- 


ment and habit differ widely) in the strange sympathy that now exists 
between yoa. Self is entirely swallowed up in the earnest regard 
that actuates the subject, and they will stop at no point beyond which 
they may afford you pleasure should you indicate it by thought or 

Now I ask is not this a most dangerous agency that can so subject 
the most upright minds to the will of the unprincipled and often- 
times highly immoral practitioner ? 

And then again it is the same in relation to this matter of tne af- 
fections as it is in the instance of the mind, for as it will beget an evil 
effect upon the memory of the subject who shall be operated upon 
frequently by one peculiarly defection in that point, so does it produce 
a strange and ardent affection in the subject, who shall be magnetised 
by one of the opposite sex, particularly if he himself be actuated by 
a wish to leave such an impression ; and who is there among us all 
who does not wish to please ? In this connection, I would observe 
that I have heard a practitioner openly avow that he could choose his 
wife from among his patients when he pleased, possessing as he did 
the power of magnetism to the full extent, meaning to accomplish the 
desirable object when the proper time should arrive through the agen- 
cy of his art. 

In magnetising an individual of the other sex, I have ever assumed 
at the outset of the operation, the most mild and gentle frame of 
mind. 1 have ever given full play to the warmth of affection that ev- 
ery refined mind must experience towards the female heart. And 1 
have ever seen this feeling a thousand fold more ardent in the subject. 
At times I have endeavored, for experiment's sake to change my mind 
and feelings and to imagine a feeling of repugnance towards the sub- 
ject; but I have only found it to render them unhappy, and frequent- 
ly moving them to tears. I do not believe that the spirit of repug- 
nance would be reflected in any case, but would create distress only 
in the patient or subject. I am at a loss to account for the cause o{ 
this phenomenon, though in fact no one can actually feel a repug- 
nance to himself, or his own weal, and perhaps herein lies the secret- 
for though we may assume to be disaffected and to dislike the subject, 
or ourselves, ^vhich is the same thing while they are under the effect 
of magnetism, yet as it is only pretence, we find only reflection in tho 
subject, where we may only hops to see as in a mirror, a truthful re, 

I remember once to have deep'y offended a lady, by some thought- 


less remark, and nearly a year having intervened, I was again thrown 
into her company. 1 remarked to her that I regretted the circum- 
stance of my offence, and that, as in duty bound, I was ready, and 
should he but too happy to expiate my offence by any reasonable pen- 
ance she should inflict. But the lady was inconsolable or rather ir- 
reconcilable, and at length finding to what extent she proposed to car- 
ry her resentment, I told her 1 would entirely change her feelings to- 
wards me if she would give me her attention for a few minutes. — 
This she agreed to do, declaring however ihat it was impossible. I 
seated myself before her, and in a tew moments and almost before she 
was aware of my purpose, I had so fixed her mind and eye that she 
did not desire to resist me, and in ten minutes from the commence-, 
ment of my experiment she was completely magnetised, proving to 
be remarkably susceptible to the influence. 

I allowed her to remain thus for nearly half an hour, subject to the 
examination of her friends with whom she was at the time. In the 
mean time exercising my mind to infuse the kindest feelings towards 
me into her thoughts, and after a few trifling experiments to amuse 
and satisfy the company who now understood the reason of the exper- 
iment, and even looking anxiously for the result, I gradually ?woke 
her from the trance, and as she thoroughly recovered herself, I retired 
to a distant part of the room. But a few moments intervened before 
she arose and crossing the room sat by my side, and requested me to 
forgive her for the cold manner in which she had treated me. 
' But can you forgive me ?' said I. 
' Yes, but not myself,' was the reply. 

' What has brought vou to this conclusion ?' I again asked. 
< I know not,' she. said, thoughtfully, ' but it does not seem that you 
could be in the wrong in any case !' 

This is a fact of personal experience, and by no means a solitary 
one, which I relate to show the reader the power of this singular 

There is at this writing, a man in this city, a practitioner in the 
art of Magnetism, whose preteudpd sanctity of character, should lead 
us to deem him worthy of trust, but it is to be deeply regretted that 
he has proved himself to ex«it his power in the art mainly for vile and 
sensual purposes. I cannot here refrain from warning young females 
and even married ladies not to trust themselves alone with practition- 
ers who are comparative strangers to them, for did I feel at liberty to 
reveal some startlin" facts with which I am conversant, the communi- 


ty would be thoroughly awakened to the danger of permitting public- 
ly the exercise and employment of this agency. The ruin and utter 
destruction of many a domestic circle must eventually follow, and in 
one case I already know the greatest unhappiness to exist. There is 
no punishment too severe for one who will take advantage of a person 
when in the helpless condition to which Magnetism reduces them, and 
he who would commit that most heinous offence, would also put his 
hand into the subject's pocket and abstract whatever might be there 
of value. His punishment must come sooner or later ; justice abid- 
eth her time. 

Here is a solitary instance in which we know the culpability of the 
operator, and how many more may there be all around us ? Nay, 
there is hardly any one, be he naturally ever so strong minded and 
virtuously inclined, that could withstand the series of temptations 
hat a practical Magnetiser must encounter. I have found this so, 
and although I call my Maker to witness that I have never betrayed 
confidence placed in me by the meanest thing in existence, so far as 
any actual deed of sin is concerned, yet have I followed the art as I 
have before said for the sake in a great measure of the delight expe- 
rienced in female society, while in the exercise of the power of Maw. 
netism. I could recount in this connection and in illustration of my 
position, scenes that would move the most stoical person on earth. 



Mr. Sunderland not long since astonished our good citizens by a 
boast that he could magnetise a certain number of his audience 
while lecturing to them, and in proof of this assertion, he agreed on 
the next evening, to throw several of the audience into the mesmeric 
state, each one thus effected to be a perfect stranger to the speaker, 
(Mr. Sunderland himself.) Now my purpose in alluding to the case 
is, to show the reader how much the imagination has to do in the 
matter. Here are an audience of some two thousand people, princi- 
pally composed of the middling classes of the community, all absorb- 
ed with the wonderful experiment they are anticipating. 

The lecture, commences by telling therewith much confidence ihat 
certain members of the body before him will soon fall asleep. Well, 
now it is very strange if there are not some in so large and hetereo- 
genous a compound of human nature, weak minded enough »o have 
their nerves affected by this announcement. They become agitated, 
watch intently the speaker, and sure enough they do become affected. 
Entering into the spirit of the lecture, each expecting that it may be 
he or she that is to be affected, become magnetised in reality. This 
reasoning Mr. Sunderland must acknowledge himself, to be correct; 
.and thus we account for what has been asserted by many to be the 
most singular experiment ever publicly made. Theie is one still 
more singular, yet explainable on the same [grounds, relative to the 

Let any one make a bow-knot of ribbon and pin it to the wall on a 
range with the eye of any naturally nervously inclined person, tell 
them to look intently upon it and it will magnetise them; ten to one 
that person will become insensible or magnetised in fifteen or twenty 


minutes, and entirely through her own imagination. I have known 
a very singular case of this kind where the subject slept twenty-four 
hours before thoroughly awaking to consciousness. Thus the reader 
will see that in thi-s case the imagination becomes the same, whereby 
the person is magnetised; in proof of this let any one try the ex- 
periment as here laid down. Yet how many vain-glorious persona, 
have I seen perform this trick, pretending to put the subject to sleep, 
while they themselves when in another room, and when it was found 
necessary to speak or to wake them up, they would go regularly to 
work and magnetise them in reality by the action of their own will, 
through the medium of the nervo-vifal fluid, thus bringing them un- 
der their own authority and enabling themselves to wake them or 
otherwise as the case may be. 

The imagination no doubt does much in every instance, and yet 5 
powerful magnetiser will as readily overcome a skeptic as a regulaj 
subject. I know this is denied by many, but I have proved it to in) 
own satisfaction in several instances. 

I once sat in a room where there was a large company, when on« 

of the ladies spoke to me saying, < Mr S you are a magnetiser, 

now do give us a specimen of your power, or tell us is it. all a hum- 
bug?' I replied that^ I believed there was some truth in the pre- 
tentions of the art, and that if it would give the company any pieas-r 
urc I would endeavor to prove the fact of the mesmeric state, taking 
as a subject any lady present who was willing to try the experiment, 
At this juncture Mrs. R. a very beautiful lady and not luntr a wife 
observed : 

* Mr S , you might try till dooms-day upon me, and you would 

nev r succeed in making me believe in (he truth of the science.' 

1 Will you allow me to make trial?' I asked. 

' Oh, yes,' said ahe, unhesitatingly. 

I wis j>ist seating myself for the trial when she observed, 

< I shall claim the right to laugh at you as much as I please. 

1 Certainly, ' said I, ' provided I faij.' 

' Very well, proceed.' 

I assumed her hands within my own and commenced the operation 
Here again 1 experienced the delight that in long practice had bo 
come almost necesary to me, and which I now craved, as would a, 
intemperate man his glass of spirit. Gradually the stubborn spiri 
relaxes, the mild blue eyes, nature's loveliest color, beama first kind!' 
then affectionately upon me, and at length they close, her heart, throb 


bing to every wish of my soul. Here I had triumphed, but not to exalt; 
my happiness was already too perfect in the sweet being before me 
to express such a feeling. She would not spare me a moment to 
leave her, bnt nestling by my side seemed happy only then. If you 
never experienced such a scene, you cannot fully appreciate the feel- 
ings of the operator ; he cannot act independent of this dependency; 
this affection so regardlessly shown before husband, friends and all ! 
There was a perfect abandon in the exhibition of regard on the part of 
the subject that I never saw in any other case or instance. It is a 
singular expression I know, and poets say that we can love truly but 
once, yet I have loved, aye, and with my whole heart an hundred 
times, while in such a situation as I have just described. It would 
be a stoical heart indeed that could resist such temptations, and not 
give play at least to the impulse o( the heart in the affections for the 

Again I ask, is it not a dangerous agency that will so act upon, and 
even control the strongest minds ? You can make but one reply to 
this query. 

I sat one afternoon in my room, when a gentleman entered accom- 
panied by a young and beautiful female; it was his daughter. He in 
formed me that from the effects of a serious fright about six months 
previous, she had never since enjoyed a single night or indeed an 
hour of natural sleep ! That the effect of anodynes however potent 
or simple had ever been to throw her into a wakeful yet half torpid 
state in which she would apparently forget herself, while her eyes 
were still wide open. He wished to try the effects of magnetism. — 
He observed that he had very little faith in the art, but that he 
was unwilling to leave any reasonable remedy untried and therefore 
he had called upon me. After a few moments conversation, I found 
by experiment that the young lady was perfectly susceptible, and after 
announcing the fact asked if I should proceed. Having the consent 
of both, I commenced at once. Here again I cut loose every cord 
that bound my heart. I threw my whole soul into my eyes, and the 
object before me was one whose personal beauty called every power 
of admiration into action. 

She was but just seventeen, and possessed of as perfect form and 
features, as one may have dreamed of, but never seen. Strange 
infatuation — I could have worshipped the lovely girl at that moment, 
when I saw how wholly she was in my power, how confiding she was, 
how thoughtful of my every movement, and seemingly jealous lest I 


should remove even my eyes from her person. Well, she enjoyed a 
sound and refreshing sleep, for such is the effect of the magnetic in- 
fluence; the parent saw it and was happy. At the expiration .of a lit- 
tle more than an hour, I awoke her in the usual manner. When she 
left the room, she did not do as she had entered it, careless of its oc- 
cupant, myself. Ah no! her eyes were bent blushingly upon the 
ground, and her heart was in my keeping ! 

From that moment, 1 felt convinced, and believe so still, that there 
is created through this agency of magnetism, not only a feeling of 
affection in the heart of the subject, but that there is also a corres- 
ponding sympathy aroused in the breast of the operator. Day after 
day that young and beautiful girl came to my rooms and was operated 
upon, unknown to her parents. Singular as it may appear to those who 
do not understand the effect of this agency upon the nerves, the first ex- 
periment entirely cured her, and her natural sleep returned to her at 
night as heretofore ! She was bound to me by this new sympathy 
over which she had no control, and was unhappy unless we met at 
least once a day. 

How I loved that gentle, thoughtless girl! I was about five years 
her senior, and our dispositions were singularly alike. Time rolled 
on, and this tender and gentle girl was daily more and more attached 
to me by our frequent meeting. I was poor; her wealth placed me 
far below her, but her fond parent wished only for his child's happi- 
ness — and but a few monts intervened in our more mature acquaint- 
ance, when we were married! From that hour I forswore magnetism, 
which all my experience showed me could be made the agent of so 
much evil. Although my wife had first been won by a strange and 
hidden agency, yet now she loved me through the natural channels of 
the heart's affection, and I was happy indeed! 



We had been married about three years; my dear Eugenia and my- 
self; and I defy the world to produce a happier couple or fa sweeter 
home. We sat one evening reading aloud to each other, our little 
boy asleep in the cradle hard by, when a servant entered and handed 
me a note. I read the singular contents which were as follows : 

Dear Sir: 

You were once a practical Magnetiser. I know you discarded 
the practice of the art from principle, and therefore I do not fear to 
trust you, for I too understand its principles. I hope you will once, 
more resume your power for the purpose of doing good ! If you are 
inclined to serve one who will ever pray for you. Meet me to-mor- 
row noon at the hour of 12 M. at the Exchange Reading Room. I 
will there speak to you. 


One who needs your aid. 
To R. S. Esq." 

Placing the note in my pocket, I continued my reading, but my 
wife interrupted me by asking the purport of the letter. I turned the 
subject adroitly, determining to find out the object and purpose of the 
writer before I made the matter known even to my wife, her from 
whom I had no secrets. The letter was written in a bold and manly 


hand, and I felt no small degree of curiosity to know its author, 
wherefore 1 awaited somewhat impatiently the coming of the appoint- 
ed time, when I resolved to meet with the writer as he had propo- 

The appointed time arrived, and at the place designated I met with 
my unknovvu correspondent. He was a young and gentlemanly look- 
ing person of some two and twenty years, and struck one at first sight 
as a gentleman at heart, and in every particular. He proposed that 
we should take a hotel hard hy, and there discuss the business upon 
which he had addressed me on the previous night. I assented, and 
following him to the Exchange Coffee House, we were soon close by 
ourselves and deep in conversation. 

' You received my note of yesterday V he asked. 

'I did.' 

' And are willing to resume the practice of your power if convinc- 
ed that you will be doing good thereby V 

' If convinced, I am.' 

' May I confide in you ?' 

' Most implicitly.' 

'I thank you sincerely.' 

Here followed a pause, as I awaited for him to open the subject — he 
at length observed, after much hesitation : 

' I know not what to say.' 

' If I can serve you consistently with my honor and self-respect, 
speak freely,' said I. ' You need rot hesitate to make known your 
wishes. I understand you to speak in confidence.' 

Extending his hand to me, with warm and eloquent language, he 
thanked me for my kindness and proceeded to say : 

' From my earliest remembrance, I have loved and been betrothed 

to Helen W , as fair and lovely a being as nature ever blessed. 

She possesses every excellence of character and disposition, but has 
one single fault, and that is a fickleness of purpose, or rather an in- 
constancy in her affections. She has ever considered with myself that 
we are betrothed to each other, and that our future marriage is cer- 
tain. I know she loves me as well and constantly as she can love any 
one, but every gay gallant who becomes acquainted with her, has an 
equal share of her regard with myself, for the time being. By busi- 
ness connections I have been called to Europe within °the last six 
months and have now but just returned. I find that during my ab- 


sence, another suitor, attracted by the large fortune she commands, 
has well nigh supplanted me in her affections, and by his constant at- 
tentions will, I fear, eventually, if he has not already completely alie- 
nated her love from me. He already absorbs her whole attention by 
his ingenious manoeuvres and agreeable accomplishments.' 

* Now Mr. W leaves his daughter to choose freely for herself 

and though he favors my suit, yet he will use no argument I know with 
Helen in my favor. Thus 1 am left to look on terms and see myself 
supplanted by one whom 1 know to be unworthy. Now tell me sir, 
cannot magnetism be made to operate here to my advantage, and also 
for the good of the lady? I have thought of every other mode to ac- 
complish my purpose, but cannot succeed. Now I know that you dis- 
carded the art from a conviction of its evils, and we both know that it 
contains some truths, and perhaps imporant ones too, notwithstand 
ing the sea of humbug it is made to float in — therefore I have deter- 
mined to consult with you in this matter. Can you, will you assist 
me V 

' I am certainly ready and willing to serve you if I can find it con- 
sistent, as I have before observed, with my sense of self-respect and 

'Do you really believe that this agency may be made to accomplish 
my most earnest wish?' 

Properly exercised — yes.' 

' Did I not know your independence in pecuniary matters I would 
offer you any sum of money, would you but promise to try the exper- 
iment in this case.' 

' If I were to receive pay for such an engagement, I should break a 
most solemn oath that 1 long since made to myself relating to the prac- 
tice of this agency.' 

' But will you consent to aid me?' 

' You have stated the case to me honestly." 

' I will swear it.' 

After a few moments thought, and some ordinary enquiries of him 
relative to the matter, I was well satisfied with his answers, and agreed 
to undertake his plan, which was was to endeavor to fix the affections 
of Helen upon himself, and to alienate them from any other object, 
I found that although he had never been able to magnetize himself 
yet he perfectly understood the principles of the art, which he explain- 
ed upon philosophical principles, and in the only reasonable man- 
ner. Our plan was as follows. I was to be introduced into the family 


of Mr. W as a friend of Mr. Milton, who had so long heen en- 
gaged to Helen. I was then to endeavor, if possible, to accomplish 
my purpose in part without any open operalion that might excite sus- 
picion — or at least I was not to attempt any thing openly, until I 
should have obtained such influence over the lady as to ensure suc- 

On a certain evening accordingly, 1 was introduced into the family 
of Mr, W , and was at once struck with the great personal beau- 
ty of Helen, as well as charmed with the accomplishments of her mind. 
But through all and every point, I could detect the one failing of fick- 
leness. Said I to myself, if I can be the agent of fixing her purpose 
and affections, and thus add stability of purpose to her affections, I 
shall certainly be doing a good act. And sol resolved to attempt to 
accomplish my object, let the result prove to be what it might. In 
this frame of mind and thus purposing, 1 addressed her with a feel- 
ing almost of admiration for her beauty of person and mind: 

1 Miss W ,' I said to Helen, ' I think I never saw a face in 

which the science of Physiognomy could so plainly be proved as in the 
instance of yourself.' 

* Indeed sir, and pray how would you interpret its legends as the 
hierologists say of the ancienl inscriptions?' 

The reader will at once perceive that my object in entering upon 
the subject of Physiognomy was to enable me to rest my eyes much 
upon her lace, and thus get her attention, and also if possible to make 
myself in some degree agreeable. 

'May I be assured of giving no offence if I translate freely, and as 
the text shall strike me?' I continued. 

1 Most certainly; and I shall be much amused to see my mind, and 
peculiarities of disposition reflected before me, as in my person from 
a mirror. But can this be possible? 1 have never had much faith in 
Physiognomy, for I have often been deceived by it.' 

' You shall see how correctly 1 will speak, and then decide for your- 
self as to the correctness of the science, which is the only one, by the 
by, that is not made the foundation for some species of humbug.' 



I had taken especial care to inform myself relative to the general 

character of Miss Helen W through Mr. Milton, but aside from 

that information, I could read in her beautiful countenance so undis- 
guised and open in its expression, nearly every decided trait of char- 
acter she possessed; I began upon this theme as I have before observ- 
ed, for the purpose of establishing a friendly relation between us, and 
as a good cover under which I might approach her, for as to any open 
exhibition of magnetism, I knew that she in common with many others, 
abhorred the idea, believing it only the invention of deceivers. 

With my eyes fixed earnestly upon her face, I said, ' I read here 
that you are very frank.' 

'Thank you,' said she. 

' Nay, you are too much so.' 

'Thank you again, for now I believe I may expect something 1 like 
truth. I see you do not wish to flatter me.' 

'You give your confidence at once, and without considering either 
the worthiness or the unuorthiness of the object.' 

'May be so,' she said, thoughtfully. 

' You are fond of music' 

1 These instruments might signify that/ said she, pointing to a harp 
and piano that ornamen'ed the room. 

'True, but they do not say that while you love to play upon them, 
are not able to accompany them with your voice, I think you cannot 
sing. Am I right, lady V 

1 Very truly spoken.' 

'I mean to be understood that while you are fond of music, yet you 


play mechanically, and still (here is no iaclt of harmony in your dispo- 
sition. Your harmony of eye, if I may so express myself, I should 
say exceeded your harmony of sound. You love to see colors cor- 
rectly blended ; that is, in good taste, and much effect, a well painted 
landscape. ' 

'I do above all things.' 

All this time she was looking intently upon me, and had even taken 
a nearer seat, though apparently without understanding or either real- 
izing that she did so, so interested had she become, I continued with 
my eyes resting upon her with all the respeet, yet tender feeling ex- 
pressed in them that I could command. 

' You are very fond of new things,' said I. 

' Who is not, pray V 

'I think that, for instance, now you have become familiar with this 
harp, you would prefer any other style of the instrument to the one 
you possess.' 

' Why, I had thought of this within this very hour; say, Mr. Mil- 
ton, is not this friend of yours a conjuror?' 

' To give this trait or propensity the proper name, I should say that 
you are fickle in your regard for any object, and sometimes, (you 
know I am translating, not originating,) changeable, nay, quite so m 
your purpose.' 

'Frank, upon my word.' 

' Have I offended?' 

1 No sir, I gave you liberty at the outset.' 

• But I see you do not like my interpretations.' 

* Perhaps I ought to like it,' said she half to herself, while she toyed 
with her fan ; 'I fear it is but too true. Go on, sir, if you please.— 
I had rather you had spoke thus, than to think you would flatter me.' 

'You are very affectionate,' I continued, 'and love more than reve- 
rence your parents— your regard is as freely given as your confidence 
and I should say you were much too ready to share both with those' 
who are almost strangers to you. 

She smiled coquettishly. 

'You are given much to the ideal, and often build Chateaux en 
Espagne, forming glowing pictures in a fairy future that never slads 
your eyes.' 6 

< You know what Pope says touching this matter of present happi- 
ness; do not all enjoy much by anticipation?' 


1 Very true; but I would speak of this castle-building propensity as 
posses-sing a large share of your thoughts. 1 can see by your eyes 
that you assent to the truth of what I say.' 

During the whole of our conversation, I had remained with my eyes 
mildly bent on the pupils of hers, and at this stage of the conversa- 
tion, I saw the usual change taking place. The moments flew fast, 
and within the half hour from the commencement of our conversation, 
Helen was in that half dreaming, half wakeful situation which precedes 
the perfect state under the magnetic influence. This was as far as I 
designed to go at this time, yet endeavoring strongly to impress upon 
her feelings a regard for me; then slipping a moment behind, by the 
usual passes and exertion of the will, I passed off the fluid, and she 
revived, while I pretended to cross the room for a book. As she be- 
came again completely conscious, she smiled most kindly on me, ob- 

' I cannot have fallen asleep. 'I really beg your pardon. It is 
most unaccountable. Why, I never was so affected before;' and 
poor Helen blushed with mortification. 

We took our leave, but with a still deeper blush, Helen asked me 
to call again, and she bid us both good night with more than usual 

As we left the house Mr. Milton remarked, 

' Well, you have certainly begun well and succeeded wonderfully; 
thank heaven, no one appeared during the conversation, else we might 
have been suspected.' 

1 Have no fear,' I replied, 'I shall use all caution in this case, in 
which I have become deeply interested.' ( 

'You have certainly won her good opinion,' 

'It is all I designed to do on my first visit, but I have found her 
peculiarly susceptible, and think success is sure.' 

' It is strange I cannot acquire the art.' 

1 You can with proper understanding as to the application of the 
will, and you must forthwith take some lessons of me, for it will be 
well that you should become an active agent yourself, in accomplish- 
ing our desired end relative to Helen.' 

1 I place myself under your control, and shall obey implicitly your 

' Come to my study then to-morrow at noon.' 

c I will be punctual.' 


And we parted. I was highly pleased thus far with the adventure, 
and promised myself more enjoyment at least, in carrying out the plan 
we had proposed. 

Mr. Milton was punctual at my study the next day. 

1 How have you been accustomed to affect your subject,' said I to 
him, ' or rather, in what way have you endeavored to do so, for you 
tell me you have never yet succeeded V 

1 First placing my subject in the usual position, and seating myself, 
I have taken the hands, and forthwith set myself to will that the sub- 
ject should fall asleep, exerting all my powers of mind to conquer 
the brain or will of the subject.' 

' Wrong, all wrong, and the plan that has caused thousands to fail 
in their attempt. The subject must be one of the most susceptihle 
class who can be thus subjected. Now I care very little about taking 
the hands or even touching the subject personally, though I believe 
that by so doing you may hasten tbe effect, and perhaps heighten it. 
Now I have always endeavored, at the outset of an operation, to es- 
tablish between myself and the subjects, the greatest degree of confi- 
dence, and give rise in their minds to a feeling of kindness, in short, 
to create a mutual sympathy between us. I then proceed to will 
mildly, yet resolutely, combining in my mind a purpose and determi- 
nation to succed, with the most affectionate regard for the subject. — 
Then follows almost instantly the result; success is almost certain. 

If, on the contrary, you will harshly, and with all your resolution to 
conquer the brain of the subject, your power must be very strong in 
the first place, to enable you to overcome the natural repugnance that 
such a course will give birth to in the feelings of the patient at the 
moment; for as you are exercised by a feeling of resentment as it were? 
a determination to be conqueror, so must their feelings partake in some 
degree of the same spirit, at least, until they become perfectly magnet- 
ized. Follow, therefore, the opposite plan in future, if you would 
succeed. I have hopes that you will succeed in this manner.' 



When I parted from young Milton, we made an appointment to call 
again at the residence of Helen's parents, in pursuance of our purpose 
on the following Thursday. Evening came, and with it my new com- 
panion at the appointed hour, and we started for the residence of Mr. 
W . After being announced, we were soon admitted to the pres- 
ence of Helen, and the gracious smile with which she received me in 
particular, showed that I was already a favorite in her heart. I should 
here observe that I was unknown to the family, nor was I likely to 
meet with any one here who would recognize me, and trusting to good 
luck, I passed for a young unmarried man, and therefore the repeti- 
tion of my visit at so early a day caused no particular notice, and pro- 
bably no reflection on Helen's mind. 

"We found her surrounded by the aristocratic sprigs and young fops 
of the town, whose mustached faces likened them vastly to the ape 
tribe, albeit those comparatively respectable genus do not wear these 
< attaches.' They were mostly of that class that carry their brains in 
their pocket, and their accomplishments on their person. My new 
friend Milton stood little chance among such fellows; he was a quiet 
well informed, and indeed, thoroughly educated young man, though 
in the matter of lashion he was perhaps inferior to those about him, a 
most desirable deficiency too, if Helen's companions were taken as 
a model. 

Helen immediately evinced an undisguised preference for our soci- 
ety, and so decided too, as to elicit the remark of several of the fops 
present, one of whom observed: 

' Who the deuce is this Mr. S V 


1 Don't know, 'pon honor,' said another. 

'One of the Canaile,' put in a third indignantly. 

* Guess he's from Kam-slcat-ker!— ha, ha, ha!' said another little 
fop of a fellow, so tightly laced that, he could hardly recover himself 
after the exertion of laughing at his own wit! 

Helen overhearing these remarks, did not hesitate to show them by 
her conduct that she wished a private interview with us. This was 
done adroitly, and with the skill of a courtier. 

One by one they dropped away, before the hour became late, and 
having patiently awaited the departure of the last, we were again oh 
such a footing that we both felt perfectly at home. I enjoyed a hear- 
ty laugh at the leave-taking of the little fop, he who had so nearly ex- 
tinguished himself in the exertion attendant upon laughing at his own 

After one of the most stiff and approved bows, he waved his hand 
graciously to Helen, saying: 

' Bon soir, my dear Miss W , bon soir,' and thus he repeated 

the only French phrase he knew perhaps a half dozen times. I doubt 
if the fellow could have spelt that. At length he bowed himself out. 

' Well, Mr. Necromancer,' said Helen to me. 

' Call him rather a professor of Physiognomy,' said Milton; ' did he 
Dot read you well ?' 

' I think he did,' said Helen thoughtfully. 

'You acknowledge the potency of the science, then ?' asked Mil- 

1 It is incontrovertible.' 

• There were some points, perhaps, that Mr. S did not speak 

of,' said Milton; ' would you have him still further translate the story 
of your open and tell-tale countenance, Helen V 

Milton spoke tenderly, and I could see from the intonation of his 
voice, and every expression, that he loved her. 

1 There is one point,' said I, ' as our mutual friend, Mr. Milton has 
suggested, upon which I would speak more fully if I felt at liberty. — 
My object at least is a good one.' 

' You have full permission, and indeed I even esteem it a favor, you 
have treated me so frankly.' 

' My object in warning you against that, which I, as one having 
studied the science, at once recognize, is because I think you are not 
aware of possessing the trait yourself!' 


' I am all curiosity, pray go on,' said Helen. 

'You remember, perhaps, that I spoke of a fickleness of character 
which you possess; excuse me, I am now acting professionally,' said 
I, with mock gravity; 'it is the only point in your general character 
that I can read, which I would change one iota, were you dearer to 
me than life itself; but that is a fault.' 

I paused a moment to see what effect this decided announcement 
would have upon her. She turned her head from me, and when I 
again met her eyes they were suffused with tears. Suppiessing all 
appearance of outward emotion, she said : 

I I feel this to be a compliment, though I know you do not mean it 
as such.' 

' There are few that are changeable with but one great fault,' I re- 

1 You are very candid with me, and I feel strangely wjllingto listen 
to that from your lips that I should not have hearkened to even from 
Henry,' refering to young Milton, to whom she looked kindly, and as 
if at a loss to account for the singularity of this matter. 

'Are you conscious of possessing this failing?' 

' I am.' 

' A sin acknowledged is half repented.' 

' Yes, this fault is mine,' answered Helen. 

'I thank you, for I have certainly assumed a situation that I have 
no right to; yet still with your permission it may perhaps be made of 
good issue. I say I thank you, for even the candor that leads you to 
confess this is also depicted in your face, and you have thus unwitting- 
ly bore testimony to the truth of the science.' 

During the time of this conversation I had bent my eyes constant- 
ly, and with the tenderest expression upon her, and in a few moments 
more of general remark, 1 had again completely magnetized her! 

I then placed her hands in those of Mr. Milton, formed the connec- 
tion or sympathy in the usual manner, and directed him to operate as 
I had already instructed him. He then concentrated all his powers 
into his will, and desire to please, which was tempered by the most 
ardent love. In the meantime I withdrew by degrees my own will 
from her by the usual exertion of the will and the passes, and thus he 
gained hi* own power upon her. Had we not all three been of near- 
ly the same temperament, this might not have been accomplished, but 
as it was, it succeeded perfectly, and Helen was now completely in 
the power of Mr. Milton. 


My object was attained ! 

He followed implicitly my directions, employing every tender sen- 
sibility of his heart, perfectly happy in the effect, for Helen showed a 
warm affection for him while thus under the influence. He awoke her 
gradually, and as she revived he retreated from her so as not to excite 
her suspicion. 

'Did I faint?' asked she. 

' Slightly so,' said we both. 

'Just forgot yourself,' continued Milton; 'but you have now quite 
recovered yourself, I think, Helen.' 

'I am; but how very singular.' 

' Shall I ring for your maid?' asked Milton. 

'No, I am quite recovered, dear Henry!' 

I fairly jumped from the floor with joy at my success. Dear Henry 
— that was the word. Dear Henry ? I was greater at that moment 
than Napoleon. 

Let me fan you, dear Helen,' said Milton. 

Oh, thought I, it's catching, is it? Perhaps I had better bid good 
night; there may be business to be done here that does not require a 
third partv for witness. 

1 Good evening,' said I. 

'Good night, Mr. S ,' said Helen; ' honor us by calling often, 

do, and believe me your friend.' 

'Bon soir, bon soir,' said I, imitating the little fop. 



From a transient acquaintance I became the most intimate friend 
of Mr. Milton, and I need not add also of Helen, who really consider- 
ed me as her best friend. She did not understand the agency by 
which her inconstancy was cured, but rather attributed it to a con- 
sciousness of possessing the fault as portrayed by Mr. S , the Phys- 
iognomist, (myself,) and her own inclination to overcome and conquer 
it. She was completely cured, and you never saw a couple more de 
voutly attached to each other. The secret agent had done its duty 
and had its effect, and was still in operation. If we can once create a 
feeling of sympathy between two persons of a proper condition, leave 
alone the rest — there will soon be love there. 

Reader, between ourselves, Helen W and Henry Milton were 

married not long subsequent to this. There was a rich and ample for- 
tune went with the bride, and I felt no envy, for they were so design- 
ed by Heaven for each other. Young, handsome, and accomplished, 
with hearts moulded for each other's sphere of happiness. They were 
married, I say, and I still was esteemed the same friend as before, and 
there was ever an earnest invitation from Milton to visit him as often 
as I met him in the street. 

Like an intemperate man who has resolved to banish from him the 
intoxicating cup, and who by some accident has again got taste of the 
fatal enemy, I was exercised by a strange desire to put again in prac- 
tice my power and propensity. I had sworn an oath never to do so 
for pay, but I longed, for the excitement and secret gratification that I 
had ever experienced while in the practice. My adventure with Hel- 


en W had again whetted my appetite for my old vitiated taste, 

and I could not withstand the temptation again to engage in it. In 
her ca^e I had acted pureiy from a sense of honor, and resigned im- 
mediately the power I had gained over her, when I found by so doing 
that 1 could accomplish the proposed end, for which young Milton had 
besought my assistance. Constantly was I exercised by a burning de- 
sire to resume my old practice in the exercise of the power dele- 
gated by magnetism. 

In this frame of mind I called one day on Helen, now Mrs. Milton, 
at her new home. She received me with all kindness, and I could 
see that she felt towards me anything but the cold and ordinary friend- 
ship of the world. I looked earnestly and intently upon her for a mo- 
ment and saw the latent fire kindling' in her eye. 

/ was magnetizing her ! 

What was to be done? I could not resist the temptation. I found 
that unconsciously 1 loved that gentle and lovely woman. I now felt 
its full force, and by its strange agency she also revealed the same re- 
gard for me. I have before alluded in these pages to the belief that 
the operator in this secret agency is drawn in no small degree towards 
the subject, at the same time that they evince the most earnest regard 
for the operator. In this case I proved the truth of the principle with- 
out at first realizing it. 

What could I do ? my whole soul was entranced, yet I knew the 
sin I was committing, and still I persevered, and drank in the tran- 
sient bliss of guilty love— guilty ? doubly guilty; for had I not a wife 
and she a husband? These thoughts all crowded upon me in a mo- 
ment of time. 

I awoke her in a moment of good resolution, and succeeded in 
so conducting as not to permit her to realize the state she had just 
been in. But there was still my influence left upon her that I could 
not remove. Her large and love beaming eyes were bent affection- 
ately upon me in earnest love. I was half delirious with smothered 
passion. I took her hand, -pressed it to my lips, and declared my love 

What was the consequence? I looked for contempt— to be upbraid- 
ed. But I had not calculated upon the potency and extent of the pow- 
er I had exercised. She loved as deeply as myself, the passion was 
reciprocal. She sank her head upon my breast and wept; at length 
recovering in some measure from her excited feelings, she said: 


' I have often thought of you since the two first evenings we met 
and with a strange and unaccountable interest.' 

I pressed her to my heart, and remained silent. 

' And now,' she continued, ' I appear to have awakened to a sense 
of my feelings, and see that 1 love you !' 

'Would to Heaven we had never met.' 

And she laid her head upon my breast and wept aloud. I pressed 
my lips to her forehead and rushed from the house. 

No man can realize the anguish I then felt. Thoroughly awake to 
my sinful conduct, yet was I powerless in my endeavors to withstand 
the impulse that drew me onward. We met again and again in se- 
cret, and I grew daily more miserable in the strange affection that 
was thus consuming us both. I took no irretrievable step ; no, my 
own self-respect, as also Helen's prevented that; we Were too "iseto 
be so wicked. 1 would have welcomed death in this frame of mind? 
I was even strongly tempted to commit suicide, but my good angel 
prevented me. Oh, I cannot even now look back upon the frame of 
mind I then experienced without a shudder. Between the promptings 
of passion and the gnawings of conscience I was miserable indeed. 
How had I merited the trust of Milton, the free and generous Milton, 
how betrayed him in his deepest wealth Arnold in his utmost mise- 
ry, was less the traitor than I felt at that time. 

Ah ! it was a just punishment. 

I could scarcely sleep at night, and when I did so was constantly 
uttering incoherent sentences, or talking aloud upon stran^" subjects. 
This state of things had existed for nearly two months, when at length 
I felt a singular quiet growing about me ; a gradual cessation of the 
burning love that I had felt for Helen, Day by day I became less and 
less affected by my passion. I nor/ slept more soundly, felt more 
quiet, was happier while engaged in my studies at home, in short I 
found myself again strongly domesticated. It was unaccountable to 
me. I had no desire to meet Helen again as heretofore; the temp- 
tation was entirely removed. 

One day 1 sat writing at my table when my wife having entered the 
study, drew her chair near me and commenced working upon her em- 

I continued my occupation until at length I felt a singular drowsi- 
ness come over me, and gradually I fell asleep. I might have remain- 
ed in this situation for nearly half an hour, when I gradually awoke, 


and looking round, beheld my wife. She had never appeared half so 
lovely to me before — my first impulse was to embrace her ! 

'Dearest,' said I, enquiringly, 'I have been sleeping ?' 

' Apparently,' said she. 

'Why, it is singular,' said I; ' here was I just in the middle of an 
unfinished sentence.' 

1 You did, I believe, drop off very suddenly.' 

The incident puzzled me amazingly. I was not in the habit of 
speaking during the hours of the day, and was entirely at a loss 
for my singular feeling. 

' Your were fatigued, perhaps, dear,' said my wife. 

I drew my chair near to her and said: 

' Dearest, you have some secret to tell me. I know you have and 
can read it in your eyes — what is it ? I drew her to my lap. I had nev- 
er lovnl her more dearly than at that moment. 

' Hu>b ind,' said she, ' I have been watching you with grief and 
pajn for many weeks lest you should become crazed. Night after 
night have I lain awake hearing your incoherent sentences and strange 
talk, until I gathered that much of your ills were to be traced to the 
influence of magnetism. 1 studied long and earnestly to know what 
was my "best course to pursue, and at last I resolved to study the se- 
crets of the art, and if possible to devise a remedy for the unhappy 
state you were in. I did so, and from your own books and with the 
instruction I have recalled from your own practice before we were 
married. I at length acquired the art and — and — ' 

' Have magnetised me V 

' I hue — do you forgive me ?' 

'Forgive you? I bless you for it. You have broken the chain 
that bound me. I was never so thoroughly happy as at this moment. 
And thru to be relieved by you is such unexpected joy ! 



As the principal object of this little book of confessions or rather 
more properly speaking, this expose of magnetism and its evil effects 
is designed and hoped to do some good in forewarning and thus fore, 
arming the public against this hydra-headed agency, I cannot refrain 
from again calling your serious attention to the evils that may be 
produced through its agency, and refer you for proof to the two last 
chapters. Ought its public practice to be tolerated, and in the hands 
t oo of designing and sensual men? not possessing the least degree. 

of shame. 

1 took an early opportunity to impress upon young Milton the im- 
portance of exercising the power that he had attained, at least once in 
a while over Hele n. 

'But vou have told me,' said he, 'that this is not necessary after 
having once overcome her brain, you said the effect would remain 
until another should affect her.' 

' Yes, yes. I did tell you so, but you know the peculiar manner in 
which we effected our object and I fear that some of my own will re 
mains to the exclusion, in part, of yours.' 

'I did not think of that.' 

'Perhaps you had better operate once more.' 

'I will. 

< And thus assure yourself that your will is yet unshaken and your 
power remans,' 


'My friend,' said he, drawing me close to him. '1 have long de- 
sired to speak to you upon this subject. Helen has been so singular 
in her conduct lately, particularly when asleep talking and even start- 
ing and crying out at times. Once or twice 3 I have heard her call- 
your name while in such situalions.' 

' As I have feared,' said I. 

' AruJ you attribute this to the remnant of your influence still left in 
her mind since the second night you effected her.' 

' I do, certainly.' 

Here I was forced to tell a double falsehood to get poor Helen re- 
leased from her unhappy situation. She to must have suffered as ac- 
cutely as 1 had done and it gave me joy to believe that she would now 
be happy again. 

'You will take my advice.' said I? 

'I shall adopt it immediately.' 

After the intervening of a few days, I met Milton again on change ; 
,-he stopped me, pressing my hand and looking gratefully upon me. 

' You are still my best friend.' 

' What is your news?' 

' I have clone as you directed.' 

' And with what success?' 


'I rejoice to hear it,' said I, and so I had removed a load of trouble 
and unhappiness from my heart. 

' I can never repay your kindness,' said he. 

' Yes, by never alluding to the topic aofain.' 

He pressed my hand warmly as we parted but how unworthv did I 
feel of that gratitude! 

Happily, I had succeded in accomplishing my purpose without ex- 
posing in any way my error or criminating Helen to young Milton, 
while his wife was again happy as before, and wondering at the unac- 
countable (at least so to her) change in her feelings. Thus the most 
direful consequences of this affair was fortunately prevented not by 
my judgement but by mere chance as it was in that my wife should 
adopt the successful plan she put in execution. The story I have told 
you took place in one of the first circles of the town and had the 
the affair taken any other turn than it did, such developements would 
have taken place as would have made the blood jun cold to relate, as it 
was, young Milton never suspected the circumstance which I have re- 


laled, and which took place between Helen and myself, nor should I 
have ever alluded to it again, but for the hope of doing good by show- 
ing the evil influence of this agency. I should perhaps here say that 
another inducement for me not to keep it secret, or fear to wound the 
feelings of others by making it known, is that Mr. Milton himself has 
since deceased, while his wife, a young and handsome widow, with a 
fortune, resides near Bologna, in Italy. 

In the public exhibition of mesmerism there is always more or less 
deception practiced. I have seen some most monstrous impositions 
mingled with the few facts that were made manifest to the audience. 
Many seeing some fairness and the truth resulting therefrom, or as I 
have before had occasion to say, finding that there is actually a secret 
agent, and of which they can take no cognizance through the medium 
of their senses, they are ready to admit all. 

Dr. Colyer, who lectured in this country for some time, was a per- 
fect monomaniac on this subject. Headstrong and impetuous, he ever 
defeated his own object, and finding he had but poorly succeeded in 
proving the truth of the art, in showing it naked to the public, he forth- 
with, like many practitioners of this time and at this wrt-ing, endeav- 
ored to invest it with a vast cloak of humbug, so that almost every 
sensible person became disgusted with the very name of Magnetism. 
All the truth that there is in the art can easily be explained on ratiork- 
al and philosophical principles, and any one who seeks to under- 
stand it will find that it soon ceases to be a mystery after a little ex- 
amination and study as to its general principles. 

Heaven protect us from the present use to which this agency is 
put. If you hear of a person who practices Mesmerism as a business, 
look well to his moral character before you trust him; see that he 
is what he should be before you place any confidence in him, and if 
you will take the advice of one who knows the tricks of the trade you 
won't trust to it at all. It is dangerous ground to tread upon; I think 
I have shown it in my ' confessions' thus far, and that the little good 
it may possibly do is far more than counterbalanced by the sea of 
trouble and misery it may give riise to, and that it is now creating from 
day to day. 

I once asked a practitioner: 

' How can you thus impose upon the public:' 

' Oh, it's not imposition,' said he, ' its only experiment.' 

'Rather a costly one sometimes,' said I. 



'Ami not " in for it," regularly established ?' said he ; I take good 
care to do no mischief, and thus keep a clear conscience. 5 

There is too much of this; there are too many in this trade, and the 
pnbhc should be warned, that they may guard against imposition and 
the evils that it may lead to. 

The life and adventures of its author and discoverer is somewhat 
significant of the principles of the art. We propose to give a very 
condensed sketch of it, purposely to show that the learned men of his 
time, as ripe scholars as those of the present day, made light of the 
whole matter. And we cannot refrain from saying that if any one 
should have succeeded or could have done so, it was the indefatiga- 
ble and persevering Anthony Mesmer — a man whom no obstacle bar- 
red from carrying out his purpose and plan. A man who was obliged 
fo fight inch by inch with the medical faculty all over the world, in or- 
der to establish what little truth there was in his art. Had not Mesmer, 
as many of his disciples have done since, endeavored to mystify the 
matter, by useless ceremonies and practices. But the disciples have 
followed the master. 

Anthony Mesmer was born in Sweden. After attaining to the title 
of M. D., and having ballasted his ship with the florins of a wealthy 
young widow, who was but too happy to change her name for the title 
of ' Fran Doctorine,' he started on the voyage of life. He was strong- 
ly addicted to the study of the magnet and its powers, and what be 
termed human electricity. At length he stumbled on Animal Mag- 
netism. He conducted all his experiments with the utmost secresy 
and mystery, thus seeking at the outset to clothe the art with a cover- 
ing of humbug. After wandering about over a greater part of Eu- 
rope, and endeavoring, but in vain, to make proselytss, we find him, 
in the year 1778, in Paris, where he was endeavoring to establish 
himself and his science, but in vain. Nevertheless, it appears on good 
authority that the French government offered him an annuity of twen- 
ty thousand livres for his secret. This offer Mesmer refused, and what 
was the reason he adduced for not accepting of it? The fear that it 
might fall into the hands of those who would make an improper use 
of it! 

Very conscientious truly, and yet in less than a twelve month from 
the time he made this answer to the French government, he formed a 
secret society known by the name of Harmony, if our memory serves 
us right, at Versailles, when any one, after paying the sum of one him- 


dred Louis d'ors was admitted. Then, after taking a solemn oath to 
keep inviolate the secret, was admitted into the arcana of Animal 
Magnetism. This speculation is said to have afforded to Mesmer the 
respectable sum of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Animal 
Magnetism having now become the property of the public, was prac- 
ticed by clergymen, chevaliers, fyc. In the course of time, many not 
content with the revelations already made, overthrew the whole, and 
reared such a structure of falsehood and humbug as best suited their 
own fancy. Mesmer himself was obliged, for some of his sinful acts 
in the operations of his art, to seclude himself from society, and esca- 
ping to a small town, he died in obscurity. 



I was knowing to the particulars of a most ingenious robbery com- 
mitted through the agency of mesmerism. It is a story which I be- 
lieve, for a wonder, never found its way into the papers, the party who 
was made to suffer on the occasion, being somewhat sensitive upon the 

I was at the dinner-table of Howard's Hotel, Broadway, New York, 
sometime in the fall of 1842, where, sitting after dinner, and talking 
over the wine, there remained together three individuals, and directly 
opposite to me, so near that I could not choose but hear every word 
of their conversation. One of them, as I afterwards learned, was a 
lawyer of New York, another a merchant from the south, and (he third 
a foreigner of what nation I knew not, for he spoke like a native. — 
Apparently, by chance the conversation turned upon Magnetism, 
which subject was then the rage in all the Atlantic cities, and in the 
mouth of every one fond of an argument for or against. I have noti- 
ced that this subject comes up periodically before the public, and ac- 
tually rages once a year, say generally during the long winter even- 
ings; perhaps I have been somewhat influenced in writing my confes- 
sions just at this time, that I might be in season to serve as a straw in 
the scale, at the present time. 

' You deny, then, the fact of the mesmeric state,' said the little for- 

' In toto,' said / the lawyer. 

' Nothing but humbug,' said the merchant. 


' You can't mean that.' 

' Never was more in earnest.' 

1 Nor I,' said the lawyer. 

' Now if I were in the habit of betting,' said the little foreigner with 
a great deal of sanctity, I would lay a wager that I could convince 
you as to the actual existence of the mesmeric state in two hours 

\ Will you bet upon that,' said the merchant. 

1 Well, I don't like to bet — its against my principles. I don't care 
though, you are so particnlar in the case. I bet you, if you please, 
an hundred dollars that I will prove this to you in the time I have spec- 

' Done,' said the merchant. 

' Is it a bet?' asked the lawyer. 

'Yes,' answered both. 

' On this condition,' continued the little foreigner. ' We will all 
retire into a private room, and stay,' said he, ' perhaps we can in- 
duce this gentleman to participate in the experiment,' alluding to me, 
' he being a stranger to us all, shall be the judge, if he will so oblige 

' Will you honor us?' asked the lawyer. 

Feeling an interest in the affair, particularly relative to the experi- 
ment, I agreed to the proposition, and we retired to a private room 
together. I was personally a stranger to each of the company; in fact 
we were all strangers to each other. 

The stakes (two one hundred dollar bills) were produced and pla- 
ced in the hands of the lawyer, who also was to be the subject for the 
operation, and the preliminaries being all arranged, the little man com- 

He was very ingenions in his mode of proceedure, commencing- by 
endeavoring to mystify his subject by his singular manipulations and 
mumbling talk, operating like one who knew well all the truth there 
was attached to the practice, and a vast deal of the sham also. I 
watched him shrewdly, for I understood the trade as well as he. A 
little more than an hour having passed in this manner, and just as we. 
were getting pretty tired of the nonsense we were witnessing - , the ope- 
rator pronounced the lawyer to be asleep. And so he was. 

' Are you convinced?' asked the foreigner. 

' I will experiment first,' said the merchant. 


And after satisfying himself that his companion was actually in an 
unnatural state, to say the least of it, he said: 
' I have lost, that's a fact.' 

* You acknowledge it?' 
'I do.' 

' The stakes are mine V 

'Decidedly,' said the merchant. 

'And, Mr. Judge/ said the mesmerizer, you too award the palm to 
me?' This question he put to me apparently to make all sure. 

' You have won the bet/ said I. 

' I'm satisfied; now I'll awake him.' 

He proceeded forthwith to awake him by the usual means while 
the merchant remarked to me rather soully, 

'It's the devil's doings.' 

• I think not,' said I, ' unless it be that the operator is after that 
school. I believe I can explain the matter to your satisfation.' 

' Spare your breath — it can't be done.' 

1 Have patience,' said I, and I proceeded to show the cause and ef- 
fect of the phenomenon as to its truth and deceptions. 

' Place two bricks side by side,' said 1, ' one shall be heated to its 
utmost capacity, while the other shall be as cold as it can be made 
to be. Place these together and the heated brick being the most ac- 
tive agent, will entirely expel the cold from the body it is joined to, 
and both will become of a like temperature.' 

' What is the applicability of this, pray V 

' I will show you.' ' 

' I see a flaw in your smiles already.' 

' Perhaps so, but it will serve me for an illustration.' 

' Two individuals are placed together — the will and power found 
in each is illustrated by the heat and cold. The one is instructed to 
become perfectly passive, him I show you in the cold brick — well — ' 

' But it is not well, I tell you I see an absurdity in this.' 

'No matter — you will understand my purpose. I'll acknowledge it 
a flaw. Well, I say the other exercises his will and mind to its utmost 
capacity and tension; in him you have the heated brick. The tem- 
perature of the two will asiimulate through the power of the nervo- 
vital fluid, and the dormant will, must be overcome by the active 

' This is certainly reasonable.' 


' It is all the philosophy of the art.' 

' You understand it then!' 

'I do thus far.' 

1 1 have never seen the matter in this light before.' 

1 True, it is clothed in so much humbug and nonsense that all rea- 
sonable minds have become disgusted with it; but then there is some 
reason and philosophy in the art, nevertheless,' said 1. 

1 By this time the lawer awoke 'from the trance, he had been in 
and was compelled to admit that he had been thrown into the uncon- 
cious state by the little foreigner, call it what he might. 

' I have lost,' said the merchant to the lawyer. 

' It appears so to me,' said he rubbing his eyes. 

1 You all acknowledge that I have won them?' 

' Yes, yes,' was the response. 

Whereupon the lawyer took the two bills from his vest pocket 
where he had placed them, and handed them both to the operator, 
saying: ' you have got that sum doubled at cheap cost.' 

'A tribute to science,' said the disciple of Mesmer, who took an 
early moment in which to bow himself from the room. 

I sat after his departure talking with the other two gentlemen, while 
the time slipped unconsciously by, and the gong sounded for tea. 
We saated together at the table, where we expected to meet our a mes- 
meric friend, proposing to induce him still farther to experiment for 
our gratification. I had drtermined to show him up, or rather charge 
him with the foolish mystery that he endeavored to cast around the 
art, and offer to magnetise him, without touching him, for I had al- 
ready become convinced by observation that he was very sus- 
ceptible. But when we come to look about for him, he was gone. 

'Waiter?' said I. 
' Sir.' 

1 Where is the gentleman who sat opposite at dinner ? I mean 
the little man with large whiskers.' 
' Gone, sir.' 
'Oh, ho, left has he?' 
'Yes, Sir.' 
< Eastward ?' 

'No sir, by the Southern line.' 
We were somewhat disappointed at this announcement, but talked 


over the theme still, while we retired to the smoking room, and in- 
deed most of the evening until we retired. 

I had got fairly esconsed in my bed. pulled the clothes over my 
head to shut out the noise that ever rages till midnight in a New York 
hotel, when suddenly 1 heard a loud abrupt knock atmy door. Throw- 
ing on a loose gown, I opened the door, wondering what could have 
brought me a waiter at this unusual hour. I cautiously opened the 
door almost suspecting foul play, so loud and impatiently was the 
summons made, when lo ! my new friend the lawyer crowded himself 
into the room. 

' Mr. S . ' said he in the utmost turpidation of mind. ' Sir I 

have lost my pocket-book. I have been robbed, sir, and as 1 have 
been with you through the most of the day 1 have come to consult you 

'Are you sure you had your pocket book at dinner?' 

'Certain of it.' 

' And have not had occasion to take it from your pocket since V 

' Not once.' 

' I mused for a moment and the truth flashed upon my mind at once. 
The little foreigner had not manipulated so strongly for nothing. Oh 
no, he had not only won the bet but stolen the lawyers pocket-book ! 

' Do you know that little foreigner ?' 

' He that magnetised me?' 

' The same.' 

{ No, but by Heaven I have it — ' 

'What, the pocket-book?' 

' No, no, but where it is gone to,' said he, ' here's a case — nearly a 
thousand dollars gone too.' 

' He rang the bell violently, and demanded of the servant to send 
the landlord forthwith to my room. 

'The polite and attentive Mr. H— , soon made his appearance. 

' Sir,' said the lawyer, I have been robbed^by a scoundrel in this 
house— that Mr. what-do-you call him, who has gone south with his 
d — d big whiskers.' 

' Oh, the lecturer on mesmerism?' enquiringly put in Mr. H. 

' Yes, yes he's the man.' 

'I'm sorry that you did not make this known before,' said the land- 
lord, ' for he has got a good start of you now, for the south.' 


' Gone, yes I know it, but I'll catch him. I'll after him.' 
Mr. H. offered all the consolation and advice in his power to the 
sufferer, and on the following morning the lawyer started off by the 
early train, for Philadelphia; but the robber had got a < large 'start of 
him, and his pursuit proved fruitless. He traced him to Pittsburg, 
but there he was at a loss how much farther to proceed, and before I 
left the city, he returned to the hotel empty handed, or rather with- 
out any news of the little scoundrel. He bore his loss manfully, and 
well he might, for he was a very wealthy man. 



About six months subsequent to this date of the theft or robbing 
that I have just related, I was passing a few weeks in New Orleans 
on business; the city of Creoles and masquerade balls. I happened 
to step in one day at the supreme court, where I found a case was 
trying in which the plaintiff was a highly respectable and wealthy, 
citizen; the defendant was a little Frenchman named Perrot, a pub- 
lic lecturer. 

The charges were just being read to the court as 1 entered and sat 
forth, that whereas the prisoner had seduced the plaintiff's wife from 
his bed and board, and also taking with her through the connivance 
of the said Perrot, certain sums of money, valuable articles etc. In 
short to place the whole matter in a nut-shell, he had seduced an hon- 
est woman to elope with him, and to take from her lawful husband 
certain articles of value and sums of money. 

The court put the usual questions through the clerk. 
'Prisoner at the bar, are you guilty or not guilty ?' 
' Not Guilty,' said the little Frenchman. 


' As soon as he had spoken, I at once recognized the mesmeric lec- 
turer who had robbed the lawyer at Howard's hotel. 
' Brought up at last,' thought I. 

The case interested me so much, that I attended the court through 
the whole trial. 

It appears that Perrot resorted to New Orleans, as a good field for 
his operations, immediately after leaving Now York. His first plan 
was to commence a series of lectures upon mesmerism, which he fol- 
lowed up very successfully, as it regarded pecuniary profits. He had 
become acquainted by some means, in the family of the plaintiff, and 
through the agency of the power of magnetism, succeeded in aliena- 
ting the affections of his victim, and in accomplishing his purpose as 
set forth in the indictment. Being pursued, he was caught, and forth- 
with brought to justice. 

I called upon the plaintiff and related to him that which I have told 
to the reader relative to the robber at Howard's hotel, and also told 
him that I was ready to swear to the identity of Perrot, and although 
I did not wish to enter into any prosecution, still if it was necessary 
to call in question the former character of the prisoner, I was quite 
ready and willing to give my evidence to that point. 

Perrot had been enabled through his wealth which was of no mean 
character in amount, although obtained in the vilest manner, to en- 
gage the first and best counsel, and in the absence of certain neces- 
sary evidence in the case, the plaintiff was very likely to loose the 
cause. The wife had not as yet been found, and herein lay an impor- 
tant item in the show of evidence. 

The case stood thus, when I spoke with the counsel who the. next 
day asked permission of the court to introduce evidence showing the 
former character of Perrot. The court ruled the matter as admissi- 
ble, notwithstanding the learned efforts of the opposite counsel to de- 
feat it. In fact Perrot had adduced evidence as to his good charac- 
ter at the outset. 1 was called to the stand. 


I stated, as it had occurred, the story and particulars of the rob- 
bery at New York, and I did not spare the Frenchman in relating ev- 
ery minutia that I thought might show his true character; and when 
I left the stand, I could see by the expression in the countenances of 
the jurors, that they had made up their mind, and that the mesmerizer 
would get justice done him. 

The counsel for the plaintiff summed up the evidence to the jury in 
behalf of his client in a few words, telling them that the case was too 
plain to them, for him to go into details. Their minds were already 
made up, and the evidence admitted. 

In the due course of procedure, the judge pronounced these words: 

Jaques Perrot, the jury find you guilty of the several charges al- 
ledged against you, and as laid down in the indictment. 

And the little disciple of Mesmer was sentenced to a lodging in tiie 
States prison at the State's expense, for a series of years, and there 
he is still serving an apprenticeship to the trade of stone-cutter, in a 
stone establishment. 

Thus ended my acquaintance with Jaques Perrot. 



Such is the. wickedness this secret agent is often made the instru- 
ment to accomplish — such the class into whose hands this power of 
Magnetism has too often fallen. I met not long after with my friend 
the lawyer, who had lost his money hy Perrot. I told him the story 
of the Mesmeriser's conviction, and he declared that he was content 
to father his loss, so that the rascal was brought to justice. I asked 
him what he now thought of Mesmerism? he replied: 

' Its powers are incontrovertible.' 

I understood the remark, for the lawyer had experienced a loss of 
about nine hundred and fifty dollars. 

The champion of Magnetism will say, perhaps, what does all this 
signify ? Simply, that there are bad men in every occupation and 

Very true ; but I relate these examples now to show you to what 
base use it may be made subservient, and what a successful agent it 
has proved in the hands of rogues. These examples will serve those 


who read them as a warning to them against imposition in a like case. 
I ask again, is not an agent that is so capable of abuse, and whose 
powers are so perverted, a dangerous one? 

A case strikes me at this very moment of a practitioner in this city, 
whose apparent standing in the community should place him above 
suspicion, and yet that man is guilty to cur certain knowledge. It 
may have been the peculiar influence of this singular agency that has 
seduced him to evil: but evil he is, and it cannot be denied. I will 
relate one case in which innocent trust has been betrayed, and then I 
think I shall have said enough to convince those who have read thus 
far this little expose, by one who knows the tricks ofthe art, that Mag- 
netism, or rather the practice of it, should no longer be tolerated, un- 
less in certain cases, and then in proper hands. 

A young female, a native of one of our manufacturing towns in this 
vicinity, came to the city, seriously affected by a nervous complaint, 
and by the advice of her friends resolved to adopt a course of Mes- 
meric treatment for her complaint. She accordingly placed herself 
in the hands of a practitioner. The application proved very success- 
ful, and in the course of a few weeks she was entirely cured of her 
illness, whether through the agency entirely of Mesmerism or other- 
wise I cannot say. The female was far from home; the operator 
knew this; the power of Mesmerism had had the usual effect to cause 
her to place all confidence in him. She was entirely in his power 
and the black-hearted villain betrayed her. 

What course is there left for her to adopt? But one, if justice is 
to be done; and that is, to make public the injustice and the villainy 
of her betrayer. But in so doing, she would have to encounter the 
scorn ofthe world, whose finger of contempt would be pointed at her. 
She rather mourns over her misfortune in secret than thus expose 
her own shame. 

This is a single case, but by no means a solitary one. 

I contend that it is the natural consequences ofthe practice ofMes- 


merism to lead to results like this ?nd even worse than any I have in- 
stanced. Its practice must inevitably give life to all the latent de- 
sires in the naturally passionate heart and disposition of man. The 
trust and confidence, aye, and affection too, that it gives birth to I 
hare shown by example is fatal to the peace of mind of the subject, 
and oftentimes to that of the operator, unless he be of a hardened 
heart, and then worse consequences ensure. 

The practice of Mesmerism was carried to such extent in France 
at one time, and its deleterious effects became so manifest, that the 
further practice of it was forbidden by law, and very justly too, for 
even those scarcely beyond the age of childhood had assumed its pow- 
e rs, while yet so young as not to be able to understand its principles, 
and thus oftentimes serious mischief was done. We may reasonably 
fear the approach of a like trouble with us, and would it not be prefer- 
able to check the evil in its infancy ? We have already sufficient ex- 
ample of its evil consequences. 

A few cases of iniquity as connected with the practice or Mesmer- 
ism, have lately come before the courts of our commonwealth, and 
one in particular of recent date. The expose of its pernicious prompt- 
ings in the cases alluded to, will no doubt have a beneficial effect up- 
on the mind of the community, and it is earnestly to be hopr.d that 
public opinion will at length put down the practice of it, and if neces- 
sary, that the law will prohibit its public exhibition. 

How many domestic circles have been rendered miserable through 
its agency. How many tender hearts blighted and deserted. How 
many acts of depravity and heinous crimes may be traced to its secret 
influence. Have I not then done justice, and justice only, in making 
public my opinion, after having at least a general experience in the 
practice, after being introduced by the knowing ones into the secrets 
of the art? 

Those acquainted with the first principles of Magnetism can easily 
prove the positions laid down by us, and thus satisfy themselves as to 
their truth or otherwise, and it will not require a very acute or par- 



ticularly able mind to detect the evils lying beneath the smooth out- 
side the practice offers. Consider who are the practitioners of the 
art at the present time; see what characters those persons are possess- 
ed of, and you can judge in what estimate the wise who understand 
the science hold it by their studiously avoiding its practice. 

I am sure that those who have had the patience to read these few 
pages to the end, will at least be warned against the vice to be feared 
as concealed beneath the cloak of Magnetism. And should they 
serve to undeceive but one, to effectually forwarn but one, and thus 
save from the bitter cup of experience, their object will have been ac- 

mMmmm'MMmM ASA 



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